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Balance designs by Martha Ritter for "Finding Your Design Sense" class.

In September, I launched a new class called "Finding Your Design Sense." The most amazing 10 students signed up for the four three-hour sessions held once a month through December. In class, we cover basic design principles then everyone engages home-play assignments to apply what we've discussed. As a teacher, it is joy to be teaching this class, and I so appreciate the women who were willing to sign up for a brand new class.

I will be scheduling this class again in early 2023. If you think you'd be interested in signing up or would like more information about the class, please be in touch: Enjoy the striking designs above that were created by Martha Ritter.

Remember the Alamo and a River Cruise

The Alamo, photo by Dana Jones

Today was a perfect day to tour San Antonio, Texas. My tour guide: A friend I went to school with from kindergarten through high school. The weather was perfect, the city lovely, and sharing memories was fun. I definitely will return to this city.

River Walk boat ride, San Antonia, from web

I was fascinated to learn one of the buildings along the River Walk — the Hilton Palacio Del Rio — was built in a most unusual way. The rooms were built on a site seven miles away, complete with furniture, carpeting, lamps, TVs and even a Gideon Bible in the night stands. As rooms were completed, a crane was used to stack them on top of each other. It's a great story.

On to Houston Tomorrow

Come morning, I'll hitch up Emma and we'll head to Houston, first for Quilt Market and then for International Quilt Festival. I'm looking forward to seeing so many friends and colleagues there. I'm a bit nervous about teaching but mostly excited for such a great opportunity.

Thanks to all of you who are checking in on my journey and especially for the kind emails so many have sent. You're the best!

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Where am I tonight? The first person to guess right — respond here or email me at — wins a fat quarter. I'm looking for city and state. Clue: I'm not in Houston. I'm two hours away visiting a friend I've known since kindergarten. Yes, that's a really long time ago.

Emma and I were thrilled with the welcome at our campsite. Most sites have metal artwork of some sort. The selection at my site is a cue I need to get my cowgirl on. As I walked around the campground, I loved a family of tin skunks and gave points to a gaudy display at one camper that included blow-up palm trees and giant blow-up pumpkins. I walked over there after dark to see it all lighted up. Sorry, the photo didn't come out.

Help Me Name This Cutie

Check out the incredible stitching on this delightful and colorful bird. It's the handiwork of my friend Jackie Anderson of Colorado Springs. Jackie does exquisite appliqué, embroidery, beading and more. She created this fun pincushion from a Sue Spargo pattern. Instead of making a wall hanging with a number of blocks, she turned each block into a piece for a friend. That's the joy of Jackie. She spreads love and laughs as she makes friends everywhere she goes. I'm so glad I'm among those she has gathered to her heart. Please send love and hugs and kisses to Jackie as she's recently had knee surgery. She's healing well but it never hurts to add healing thoughts for those we love. This lovely creation will live in Emma. She needs a name. Your ideas?

My Palette for a Houston Class

Fabric I'll use to make Linda Hahn's "Castleton Corner" at International Quilt Festival

A few years ago — pre-COVID — my New York quilting bud Janet Messanelli Bozzone and I decided we'd start an annual tradition of attending International Quilt Festival together. It soon appeared we faced a challenge: We are drawn to very different kinds of quilting. While we didn't need to be joined at the hip for the week, we did want to take some classes together. So we each agreed to take a class selected by the other person. The class Janet chose — "Collage the Garden" with Sarah Ann Smith — proved to be one of my favorites. I now follow Sarah's work and recommend you do the same. Janet really connected with Paula Nadelstern in the kaleidoscope class I selected. Ditto for me.

We thought we'd try again this year. Since I'm teaching three days and lecturing two others, we varied the plan a bit. Monday we'll take Linda Hahn's "Castleton Corner" class. Janet is enrolled in two of my three classes, and I'm hoping has been named Teacher's Pet. Above is the fabric I'll use for Linda's class.

Staff of the Sewing Studio in Lubbock, Texas. From the shop's website.

I brought most of the fabric for Linda's class from home but I still needed just the right blue. I lucked into the perfect fabric when I stopped at the Sewing Studio in Lubbock, Texas, today. What a wonderful shop! The owner is the center of the second row. She purchased the shop right before COVID hit but never fear, she had a plan. The shop has extensive plate class windows so she lined up bolts of fabric in the windows. Each bolt got a number. Folks were invited to come and window shop since the shop couldn't be open to the public. Folks found fabrics they wanted then called or emailed in their orders, which were packaged and distributed without contact during a few hours each day. What a creative idea! If you're in Lubbock, this is a must stop. A visit will make you smile.

Did You Miss Yesterday's Blog?

I'm blogging as I travel to and from Houston for Quilt Market and International Quilt Festival and from there as long as my energy holds up. I won't send emails everyday but I do encourage you to check out the blog portion of my website as you are able from now through November 8. Yesterday I shared information on the special holiday-themed classes I'll be offering in early December via Zoom. These come just in time for last-minute stitching. If you haven't checked them out, I hope you will. I'd love to see you in class.

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"Out on a Limb," designed for foundation paper piecing from a photo then pieced by Dana Jones; quilted by Rita Meyerhoff.

As I began my drive to Houston for Quilt Market and the International Quilt Festival today, I found myself singing Carly Simon's "Anticipation," making up some of the words. I sang:

"We can never know about the days to come

But we think about them anyway.

And I wonder if I'm really teaching in Houston

Or just chasin' after some finer day."

"Anticipation, anticipation

Is makin' me late,

Is keepin' me waitin'...

..."These are the good old days...."

I'm still pinching myself to fully believe I'm teaching and speaking for the first time at International Quilt Festival. As I drove today, I remembered telling myself soon after I started quilting that some day I'd teach at such events. How hard could teaching be? I thought. Never mind that I was a beginning quilter. I'd attended two quilt shows where I took classes with national/ international teachers and was convinced I could teach such classes. Little did I know the hard work it would take to do that. I had to learn to quilt then I had to find shop owners who believed I could teach. Thanks to Colleen Nunes, former owner of Quilters Crossing in West Nyack, New York, I got my first teaching gigs. It was fun but it was also hard work. Houston became more and more a pipe dream.

Then COVID hit. Those of us ready to teach and speak via Zoom were suddenly in demand. I became part of the Global Quilt Connection, a group of about 200 quilt teachers and speakers organized by the amazing Lyric Kinard, Sue Bleiweiss and Mel Beach. The requests to speak and teach multiplied. I got the courage to apply to teach and speak in Houston. The Quilt Goddess of all good things in the quilt world smiled on me when a number of my proposals for Houston were accepted.

"Peace Cranes Over Hiroshima" designed and pieced by Dana Jones

Next week I'll teach three classes and give two lectures. The classes will all be from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.. There are still openings in the classes. Registrations will be taken right up to class time if openings remain. I should would love to see you in class. Here's what I'm teaching:

I'll present two lectures:

  • "The International Honor Quilt: Women Remembering Women," 4-5 p.m. Wednesday, November 2 (No. 359)

  • "Indigo, Taupe and More: Japanese Fabric from Vintage to Contemporary," 10-11 a.m. Saturday, November 4 (No. 751)

I hope if you're in Houston, we can connect. So many of you I've only met online during Zoom classes. It would be amazing to meet in person.

'Tis the Season

"Solstice Forest," created by Dana Jones

If you're in need of a last minute holiday gift, a hostess gift or a decoration for your home, I'm offering three classes in early December that may fit the bill. These are quick and easy projects you can whip up before you know it. You can customize them to the holidays you celebrate with your fabric choices.

These four-hour classes are just $40 each or all three for $100, a savings of $20. You'll find information on the classes on my website. Just go to my home page and scroll down to find descriptions of each class and links to register.

I can't think of a better way to kick off this holiday season than to be with you in any and all of these classes.

"Prancing Around," created by Dana Jones

Palo Duro Canyon State Park near Canyon, Texas, a bit south of Amarillo. Photo by Dana Jones.

The first leg of my trip to Houston was from my home in Gilpin County, Colorado, to a campsite at Palo Duro Canyon State Park in Texas. This is my fourth or fifth time staying in this wonderful park. Entering after dark is an experience. A sign that indicates the road is a 10 percent downhill grade is just before the one that features the image of multiple S curves and words that read 15 mph. The descent into the canyon — beautiful in the daylight — is an adventure after dark. Emma, my 18-foot Rpod camper, is a real trooper. While she'd like to have pushed us down the canyon faster, she responded well to my gentle braking.

I quickly leveled Emma side to side then hooked up the electricity and water. Her propane-powered heater quickly took the chill out of her. A cozy sleep under a down comforter awaits when I complete this blog. I always get a good night's rest in Emma, my high maintenance BFF.

Tomorrow I head to San Antonio then on to Houston first thing the next day. Yes, it's real. I'm teaching and speaking in Houston. I sure hope I'll see many of you there. You've got my schedule so you'll know where to find me. You can also text me at 720-654-8430 to we can find a time to meet up.

I'll be blogging from the road from now through November 8 as my time and energy allow so check out this page from time to time to find out how Emma and I are doing. I'll send periodic emails but don't want to bug you every time there's a new blog post.

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